The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 2 (9 of 12)

Mike Connell

This is how Jesus addresses that servant... Remember, the other servant, he was called “good, well done” - that's the commendation for what he did - good and faithful; but this one here – “you wicked and lazy servant”! There are three things that Jesus brings against him.

1) He calls him ‘wicked’, and that word is not like ‘evil’, in terms of doing bad things or terrible things. It's the word poneros in Greek, meaning to have a hurtful or negative influence on others. Think about that. Someone who is half-hearted, they don't fulfil their commitments, they quit on the task halfway through it, they quit when there's pressure... They demoralise leaders. They take the heart out of others who are serving. They are not a positive influence. If you're committed, diligent and passionate, you are a positive influence; but if you're half-hearted, reluctant, have to be constantly rung up and followed through, or you never turn up, and you never really do the job well, and there's always something negative going on… this is actually having a negative influence. That's what that word means.

What He's saying to him is: your influence is not a positive influence, that would inspire and move people forward. You have a destructive, negative influence; and that's what leadership is about -influence!

2) He says: “you're lazy”! You're just unwilling to put in the effort that's needed. Many Christians think it's just all about the grace of God - Jesus did all the work, I don't have to do anything. That's nonsense! Jesus did the work; now He expects us to walk with Him and serve Him… and the work of ministry is hard work! It's very difficult work. It requires that we develop a diligent mentality, a hardworking mentality, rather than a lazy one.

Proverbs 13:4 – “The soul of the slothful man desires much, but he has nothing”.

A lot of Christians are wanting much, and they're asking God for much, but they won't put in the necessary work in order to have it.

Proverbs 12:4 – “The soul of the diligent will rule”.

3) He calls him an “unprofitable servant”. Unprofitable, producing no benefits to the kingdom.

What an assessment! He was having a negative influence; unwilling and lazy, wouldn't get down to business and do what was needed; and he produced nothing beneficial. Over the years, I’ve known many people like that.

Here's the thing... He lacked revelation or intimacy. He didn't really know God. There's no depth of relationship. He has a distorted view of God, because he never let God work in his heart to shift that, and he failed to be faithful in his serving.

I just see this over and over and over - people just prefer to do their own thing, spend their time, money, and energy on what they want, that they feel good about. Notice there, a fearful, unbelieving heart caused him to avoid serving, or avoid any personal risk whatsoever. He's focussed on himself.

What did he lose? What was the cost to him, of that state? The first thing was the loss of opportunity.

Matthew 25:28 – “Take that talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents”.

He lost the talent. What God had given him, as an opportunity to qualify for great reward in the kingdom - the opportunity was removed from him and given to the one who had 10. That's not very socialistic, is it? It doesn't flow with socialism. Socialism would've taken the 10 and distributed them.

Jesus is trying to bring our attention of the importance of being connected to Him, and being productive in Him, so He says: the one who is unproductive, I'm going to take what he had, and I'm going to give that opportunity to the one who's very productive.

The second thing is, He cast this unprofitable servant out into the outer darkness, where there be weeping and gnashing of teeth. He becomes excluded from the Marriage Supper and celebration. There was no benefit in all I invested in Him, no tangible benefit to the kingdom. “He will be cast into the outer darkness, where there be weeping and gnashing of teeth”.

What is the ‘outer darkness’; and what is the ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’? Some Christians think the ‘outer darkness’ refers to hell, and this is a story about whether they're saved or unsaved, but that cannot be true, and here are two reasons why it can't be true…

1) Firstly, it calls it ‘outer darkness’, but hell is described as a place of ‘burning’ - so it can't be burning, and dark, at the same time - it doesn't make sense!

2) Secondly, our works do not qualify us for heaven; faith in the work of Christ does. He's talking here about reward versus loss.